Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alex Mechanick Accepted at Blue Chip Schools: Will Strauss und Bloom Be His Choice?

Alex has been accepted at Brown, Tufts, Middlebury, Vassar, Brandeis and Strauss Und Bloom. No pressure, but only one school has a 2 faculty members to 1 student ratio. That's Strauss Und Bloom. Let's take a look at the school mottos...

Brown University: "In Deo Speramus." In English, "In God We Hope."

Strauss Und Bloom University: "Nos Es Champions, Meus Amicitia." In English, "We Are The Champions, My Friends."

Now, let's take a look at the prices of the schools...

Brown University: 100 billion dollars or something like that

Strauss Und Bloom: Alex is a National Merit Scholar and the Strauss of Strauss Und Bloom will use that for back taxes. Other than that, free ride!

There's a clear winner. And that winner is SuB.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good News

1. I am filled with joy to be alive

2. My wife is the greatest person ever

3. Philadelphia is the best city in the world

4. I love my family

5. Always on my grind


Sleeping quotes-

"One should say before sleeping: I have lived many lives. I have been a slave and a prince. Many a beloved has sat upon my knee and I have sat upon the knees of many a beloved. Everything that has been shall be again."
W.B. Yeats

"A thinking woman sleeps with monsters."
Adrienne Rich

"Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."
Walt Whitman

"Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep."
Ludwig Wittgenstein


I'm going back to practice some Shakespearean soliloquies. That's right. I'm going to nail "is this a dagger" from Macbeth and "to be or not to be" from Hamlet.

Zoe Strauss Bio


Attended and was not expelled from any of these schools:

Albert Einstein Day School, Las Vegas, NV

Solomon Schechter Day School, Philadelphia, PA

Mayfair Elementary, Philadelphia, PA

McCall Elementary, Philadelphia, PA

Greenfield Elementary, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia High School for Girls, Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA- approximately 2 years total, although not concurrent


Delivery Person- Parktowne Place Pharmacy
Ice Cream Scooper- Maron's Ice Cream
Sewing machine operator- K and D Clothing
House Painter
Magazine Buyer, Cashier and Stocker- Tower Records
Dancer- All In The Family A-go-go
Book Seller- Giovanni's Room
Drug Study Test Subject- GlaxoSmithKline
Counter Help- El Taco Grande
Cook-Taco House
Installation Artist
Enjoy this cinematic moment, my friends. On Friday I'll be having a Philadelphia Museum of Art lunch meeting at Osteria, which is housed in a place of former employment. In high school I briefly worked at a factory in the building where Osteria is. My job was sewing joker tickets onto boy's blazers sleeves at K and D clothing. I think it was piece work but I really don't remember.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

red streamer_0079 web

Saturday, March 26, 2011

doors in open structure web

doors in open structure3 web

doors in open structure5 web


doors in open structure2 web
yes, original file


doors in open structure2_1 web
yes, finished file

Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art

Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art

April 9 - Summer 2011

Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art presents work by nine artists who used photography to address some of the most controversial political and social issues of the late 1970s through the early 1990s, including feminism, racism, the AIDS crisis, and gay activism. Looking at a diverse range of pictorial strategies, and at works that are by turns confrontational and contemplative, Unsettled examines the historical reasons why many artists made provocative photo-based works in the 1980s, and invites viewers to consider why some of this art still causes controversy, twenty or thirty years after it was made.

Activist and political art of the 1980s was not limited to photography, but photographs—whether activist or not—were nearly always at the center of controversies, because of the medium’s direct connection to real-world things, bodies, and events. Artists who embraced photography’s singular capacity to unsettle the viewer did so with a broad range of photographic techniques. Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems based their work in—and often subverted—the tradition of studio portraiture. Hujar, Nan Goldin, and Zoe Leonard shot seemingly candid pictures, often of subjects found on the street. Kruger and David Wojnarowicz created montages with appropriated imagery lifted from advertising and other pop-culture sources. Kruger, Simpson and Weems put words in their pictures, deploying language to give political meaning to otherwise neutral images. Wojnarowicz used text in yet another way in his Sex Series, overlaying a complicated mix of images with news stories, government reports, and diary entries about homosexuality and AIDS.

The exhibition was prompted by the recent removal of a 1987 David Wojnarowicz film from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C., the latest of a series of controversies involving the public display of “unsettling” photographic works. In December 2010, members of Congress, spurred by conservative activists, objected to the film's imagery of ants crawling over a crucifix, and museum officials quickly decided to take the film off view. That action and the resulting public outcry were reminiscent of the culture wars of the 1980s, when politicians and religious leaders frequently denounced art they found offensive, and called for the elimination of public arts funding.


As its title, Unsettled, suggests, some of the images in this exhibition are “unsettling” and may elicit strong reactions in viewers. With this in mind, parents may want to preview the exhibition before deciding whether to introduce it to their children.

Tower Records 1987-88 Playlist

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm going through thousands and thousand of files searching for photos right now and I'm struck by how incredibly difficult it is to make a good photo. Just going through folders and folders and folders of photos not even worth looking at. Theres hardly any images that are as is. There's endless variations on the same moment. With a little bit of sky or no sky? Tighten or more expansive? And there's photos with components that can make a strong photo with significant cropping, needing consideration and work. After all that, the ones that make it past the first cut generally don't make it any further than a folder saved to an unmarked hard drive.

It's not quite time yet to revisit the images that didn't make it to print for I-95. But billions of them and all the variations of the final edit images are waiting to be revisited after the prints are done. Something integral to my editing process was having to go through a disorganized mess of hard drives searching for images, being forced to revisit old images and old choices, making me continuously ask if I was making the right choices. It was time consuming but the kind of "shuffling papers around on a desk" memory model worked best for my editing. A great system for editing, total torture for finding original files.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl is the final choice for the PMA prints. It felt akin to Sophie's Choice making that decision.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

pool_8243_1 web
everything you need and want_6959 web

Monday, March 21, 2011

Car engine light turned back on

Washer broke

Harddrive crashed and weeks of work lost

Taxes years overdue

but when I went to get the new washer at Dominick's, Joe said, "Hey" to a delivery guy who came in and the guy's response was "Hay is for horses."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bahrain destroys Pearl roundabout

Scene Stealing Cameo on Action News This Evening

uniform city on action news_9397 web

uniform city_1_1 web
perigee moon_9381 web

Fukushima, Tripoli, Tahrir Square, Madison, Philadelphia

Thursday, March 17, 2011

trinity_0233 web


I can't wait to see this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

rust stain_4022_1_1 web

The Waste Land

driving from venice_2188 web

the wait

Civil Defense Siren

Civil Defense Museum Sirens
I think that Fukushima is soon to become a word that will enter the vernacular in a way that Dresden, Chernobyl and Beirut are in use.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Radiation exposure and the effects on human health

A look at what could happen to people who are exposed to radiation in the Japanese nuclear crisis.

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times

Concise and understandable.

50 Workers Are Plant’s Last Defense

A small crew of technicians, braving radiation and fire, became the only people remaining at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Tuesday — and perhaps Japan’s last chance of preventing a broader nuclear catastrophe.
I need to organize about 20 billion photos and my images are randomly scattered on about 10 billion hard drives. Any suggestions?
wall_1945 web

Monday, March 14, 2011

How is radiation poisoning treated?

Potassium iodide can be used to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, protecting it from injury. It cannot protect other parts of the body, or reverse damage to the thyroid once it has occurred. Prussian blue, a dye used by artists and manufacturers since 1704, can also be used to remove certain radioactive materials from the body.


Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation Emergencies

Questions and Answers on Prussian Blue

Meltdown alert at Japan reactor

NHK World English


"The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai, a famous artwork which makes extensive use of Prussian blue.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Importance of Words

On March 8 the New York Times publishing a shockingly misogynistic piece of journalism about the gang rape of an 11 year old girl.

"Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town by James C. McKinley Jr."

As of right now, the only response from the New York Times to the outcry about the way this piece was written comes from Arthur Brisbane.

"Arthur S. Brisbane is the readers' representative. He responds to complaints and comments from the public and monitors the paper's journalistic practices. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column appears at least twice monthly on the Sunday Op-Ed pages. He started his term August 2010."

"Gang Rape Story Lacked Balance by Arthur S. Brisbane"

You got to do better than that Times.


New York Times, Houston Chronicle tell different stories of 11-year-old’s rape

Editor and Publisher

New York Times Texas Rape Story Draws Fire

This is unbelievable. Most sincere well wishes for all impacted by the earthquake and tsunami.
chances wednesday_8799

chances wednesday_8771

chances wednesday_8686

chances wednesday_8638

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LGBTQ Ladies Night at Chances. I love being the party photographer.

Love and Thoughts to All Impacted by the Earthquake/Tsunami Devastation

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wisconsin Senate GOP Tries Nuclear Option for Passing Anti-Union Bill [UPDATE: It Worked]

"In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten. Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people. Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government."

-Wisconsin State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D)

My god, that's an incredible statement. This is a serious crisis.

Nancy Spero: Shocks to the system

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Much Love to New Orleans on Mardi Gras.

Iron Eyes Cody
Dear Business Owners and Residents on the stretch of 12th St between Christian and Wharton,

Many places on 12th St between Christian and Wharton are an absolutely disgusting mess, particularly on the West side of the street. It is not the usual annoyance of blowing trash comprised of menus, plastic bags and empty chip bags, it's revolting garbage. If there is garbage like this outside of your home or business, get out and clean. If you know a resident who can not clean outside, please give them a hand.

With Love,
Your Neighbor Zoe Strauss

100th anniversary of International Women’s Day

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I love Timmy.

Friday, March 04, 2011

newsstand_2321 web

ride in segovia_2654 web

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Union Proud.
stomach web.jpg

Philadelphia's Finest

As I move forward with "10 Years," and the larger project on the whole, which is secretly working titled "Are We Not Drawn Onward," I have found great inspiration in the Philadelphiacentric following:

1. Shawn McBride's facebook posts.

2. Ladies Night at Chances at 53rd and Market. Let me tell you, I am bursting with Philadelphia pride about this weekly event. Young women, lesbian, bi and trans, all getting their party on in a safe, respectful and fun environment at 53rd and Market. The party organizers and promoters are amazing. Thank you, Philly and Shiz. Unbelievably beautiful.

3. The work of Michael Macfeat.

a. The History of the American Suburb is the history of racism.

4. Shopping at the Acme, which I love for many reasons. One of the top reasons is the Acme sits on the former site of the Moyamensing Prison.

a. Emma Goldman

b. Edgar Allan Poe

c. Charles Bukowski

d. Passmore Williamson

5. The horrifying legacy of the 1985 Move bombing and murders.

6. My own family, particularly my sister's texts.

7. The John Coltrane House.

8. The history of the Fairmount Dam.

a. Flow: the life and times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River By Beth Kephart

b. One boy drowned, one rescued- 1893

9. The Roots.

10. The constant of being with Lynn Bloom.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I-95: The Road Most Traveled : NPR

I-95 runs almost the same route that revolutionaries used during the war in 1775-1783.

Rita "EGOT" Moreno is brilliant.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil came up with "frequency hopping." It was intended to prevent radio-controlled torpedos being jammed and ended up being the basis for current cell phone usage.